I’ve been buying nothing but vinyl records for the last year, enjoying the digital tracks that often come included on an included card so I can have the music on my iPod for those times when a record player just isn’t so convenient. This year I have really gotten into the music of Jack White, be it in the guise of The White Stripes, The Raconteurs, or The Dead Weather.

This year has been excellent in terms of experimentation in formats for White and the Third Man Record company, the vinyl focused record label founded by White to breathe its own new life into the vinyl format, which has been making a fantastic comeback in the last few years.

“For many of us, and certainly for many of our artists, the vinyl is the true version of the release,” said Matador’s Patrick Amory. “The size and presence of the artwork, the division into sides, the better sound quality, above all the involvement and work the listener has to put in, all make it the format of choice for people who really care about music.”

Because these music fans also listen using portable players and computers, Matador and other labels include coupons in record packaging that can be used to download MP3 versions of the songs. Amory called the coupon program “hugely popular.”

I was really excited when I caught wind of an announcement from none other than The Dead Weather’s Jack White about their latest single release and the innovative new format in which it was being released — the Triple Decker.

I ordered it the first day that it was available. Since I had just as much of a chance as anyone else (though I had the best chance according to Grandpa Joe in the classic book Charlie and the Chocolate Factory since I wanted it more than anyone) I planned on writing this article either of two ways — one if I got the triple decker record and one if I did not get it.

The package came from Nashville by means of the Postal Service and I was excited to open it. I knew that if I didn’t get the Triple Decker, I would at least get the single itself on twelve inch format. It was a far cry from having the Triple Decker, with its special song that could only be found on the seven inch record sealed inside twelve inch record. I nevertheless would have something special from Third Man Records — something that might be replicated for the purpose of fooling the ear, but certainly not the senses of touch, smell, and feel.

I won’t lie — I was a little sad that I didn’t end up getting the Triple Decker, which was compounded when I saw about a dozen or so copies of the Triple Decker selling on eBay for over one hundred dollars — some going for close to two hundred dollars. In this age of digital piracy and digital book theft, it’s nice to see somewhere you can find something that can’t be so easily cloned ad infinitum.

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